This week’s Hero of the Game for the Houston Dynamo’s matchup against in-state rivals Austin FC, is Chris Lucio Sr., a man who knew he wanted to be in the Marines from the time he was in high school. He was so confident, in fact, that he enlisted before he even graduated.
“As soon as I was 18, I went and signed up. As soon as I graduated high school that May, the following October was my ship out date," Lucio said.
For many Americans who never considered enlisting in the armed forces, it is difficult to fathom the bravery it took someone as young as Lucio to make such a life-altering decision so confidently.
However, Lucio never saw it that way. For him, joining the military was a decision that felt aligned with his nature. He thought of himself as having a protective instinct, and then, when the attacks on September 11, 2001 happened, he knew that he had to use that protective instinct for the greater good.
“I’ve always had a protective feeling towards my family and friends in general,” Lucio said. “Once I saw what happened on September 11 (2001), it pushed my mind over the edge.”
While in the Marines, Lucio served in multiple tours in Iraq, largely in automotive repair positions and a gunner for escort missions.
Since returning to civilian life, Lucio has used this experience through his career as the mobile mechanic for Baytown Ford and team lead for the oil and lube department.
Lucio is truly a Houstonian through and through. He was born in Pasadena and has moved all over the Houston area, when he’s not serving overseas. He has lived in Humble, Spring and currently resides in Baytown.
Despite this, this Saturday’s match will be his first Dynamo game. This is in part because his six-year-old kid has only recently gotten into the sport, which has sprung Lucio’s interest. Being the good dad that he is, Lucio has taken a special interest in his kid’s interests.
“My kids are really excited,” Lucio said. “Especially the one that plays soccer.”